When we talk about social media marketing, we often think about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as the go-to platforms to reach audiences. In this discussion, LinkedIn is often neglected and relatively few brands have a comprehensive understanding of how LinkedIn can fit into their overall social media strategy. Yet in 2017, LinkedIn boasted 500 million users from more than 200 countries, according to Fortune. This represents a valuable user base that can be tapped in to with the right approach. Here are three things you should know about LinkedIn marketing.
In March of this year, LinkedIn announced that it would begin offering a native video advertising feature for companies to use on their LinkedIn page. Although video had been first introduced for LinkedIn users back in August 2017, this is the first time the platform has rolled out video capabilities for businesses.
According to Marketing Land, ‘LinkedIn says more than 46 percent of B2B advertisers it surveyed said that finding the right environment for videos was a top challenge when considering video campaigns.’ Prior to the launch, more than 700 advertisers beta tested the “Video for Sponsored Content” feature and found that ‘LinkedIn members have spent an average of almost three times the amount of time watching ads embedded with video versus static ones.’
LinkedIn’s video feature targets audiences based on information available on their profile, such as job title, seniority, company name, industry, and listed skill sets. It also offers a Matched Audiences feature, which gathers insights based on users’ email addresses or the websites they have visited. All this means that marketers can now use high-quality video content to generate leads, reach potential customers and encourage engagement with company pages, as opposed to treating LinkedIn as a static space users can find company information.
One of the most useful LinkedIn features is its Sales Navigator, which allows marketers to ‘find and build relationships with prospects and customers through social selling.’ This is great for lead generation and business development and, though the feature is paid for, it is possible to strike a good ROI.
Social Media Examiner has a helpful guide for how to make a start with Sales Navigator. Some of its key suggestions include allowing plenty of time for the set up process, since ‘Sales Navigator has predictive search, so the more time and energy you put into it the first time, the more you’ll benefit down the line.’ By importing your leads, targeting accounts and selecting your territories and job functions, LinkedIn will suggest accounts for you to review and save based on the information you provide.
Last month, LinkedIn also released an update to Sales Navigator which allows users to ‘see additional emails, phone numbers, website URLs, social handles and office addresses pulled from both their LinkedIn profile and your CRM in one place.’ According to MarTech Today, LinkedIn also took a pre-emptive approach to GDPR to ensure the updates were already compliant with the new regulations. LinkedIn said it had made changes that let users export or delete their own Sales Navigator data and provided a comprehensive FAQ’s page for anyone concerned about remaining compliant.
Although there are a number of paid features such as Sales Navigator, this does not mean that marketers should neglect organic content. LinkedIn is a perfect platform for putting content out into the online sphere, as it offers a number of opportunities that are not well-suited to the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
According to a helpful marketing guide that LinkedIn themselves produced:
‘You can build your brand and content presence on LinkedIn on your LinkedIn Company Page and specific Showcase Pages, through long-form posts, and by uploading content to LinkedIn SlideShare. These are free tools you can use to establish brand awareness and establish thought leadership with your prospects and customers.’
With LinkedIn SlideShare reaching 70 million unique visitors a month, the scope for reaching a wide audience and boosting awareness of your brand through organic content is vast. Once you have a good level of organic output, it is then easier to decide where investment in paid features could boost your overall strategy, whether that means investing in sponsored content, direct mail or adverts.
Far from social media’s forgotten platform, LinkedIn can, and should, in fact be used as a central element of your marketing strategy.